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12 February 2014

INTERPOL Chief calls on Gambia to make greater use of INTERPOL’s tools and services

BANJUL, Gambia – Enhancing Gambia’s use of INTERPOL’s tools and services to fight transnational crime was the focus of the first official visit to Gambia by INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

Meeting with senior officials from Gambia’s Ministry of Interior and Police Force, the INTERPOL Chief underlined the importance of extending access to the Organization’s global tools, services and operational support to police officers on the frontlines.

Discussions focused on key security issues for the country, which is a major transit point for drug trafficking. Gambia is involved in a number of key initiatives to combat this crime, including Project AIRCOP which tackles drug trafficking, organized crime and drug abuse in West Africa.

Mr Noble pointed to Gambia’s request for an INTERPOL Incident Response Team in 2010 to assist with the investigation into the seizure of two tonnes of cocaine as an example of how member countries can benefit from INTERPOL’s wide-ranging expertise and support.

“Law enforcement in West Africa faces many challenges, from drug trafficking to human trafficking to environmental crimes. Effectively fighting these transnational crimes in Gambia requires greater collaboration throughout the region and globally, via the tools and services provided by INTERPOL,” said Secretary General Noble.

“Making greater use of INTERPOL’s criminal databases to enter and search data about suspects, stolen passports and stolen motor vehicles will not only benefit police investigations in Gambia, but in all INTERPOL member countries.

“Successfully dealing with current and emerging crime threats requires common solutions, which must include ensuring via INTERPOL that frontline officers in Gambia receive the crucial support and training they need,” concluded the INTERPOL Chief.

Mr Noble’s mission to Gambia marked the 175th INTERPOL member country the Head of INTERPOL has visited since he was first elected Secretary General in 2000, underlining his dedication to learn first-hand the needs of member countries and to identify ways that INTERPOL can help them ensure the safety of their citizens.